Is There a Breast Lift Technique That Does Not Involve Moving the Nipple?

I'm 29, & wear an F cup. Following some weight loss my breasts feel less firm & the skin is slacker but only around the sides, from the top of my ribs up into the armpit. From the front and on a 3/4 view they still look & feel full, perky, & the nipple position is good. But in profile the area where the breast joins the body is not pleasing, mostly on the left side which is the bigger breast. Is it possible just to pull up or excise some skin in this area, eg with an incision in the armpit?

Doctor Answers 8

Breast lift question

It's difficult to answer a specific question about your breasts without photos.  In general given your breast size, it is unlikely that a lift could be done without making an incision around the areola, removing the excess tissue, and redraping the remaining skin and breast tissue around the nipple into a pleasing contour.   If all of the extra breast tissue and skin is below the nipple (and the nipple is in good position) it may be possible to remove it with just an incision in the fold, but again, this is not the most likely situation. 

Breast lifting and Moving Nipples?

Based on the description of your breast size it is extremely likely that your breasts and the nipple/areola are too low on the chest wall. Therefore, breast lifting/reduction will necessitate an incision around the nipple/areola complexes to move them upwards on the chest wall ( to sit on the appropriate spot on the lifted breast mound).

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Breast lift technique that does not involve moving nipple

Hi English Rose,

Please submit photos. It is nearly impossible to answer your question without seeing what you actually look like. Also, if you are in a weight loss program and are planning on loosing additional weight, that will change things. In the long run, you may end up needing to move the areola/nipple up. I suspect you (like many others) are afraid of the unsightly scars left after standard breast lift techniques. FYI, there is a lifting/reduction technique that minimizes visible scars and has NO VERTICAL SCAR. It allows for maximum cleavage, upper pole fullness without the need for an implant. Best wishes, Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 223 reviews

Breast Lift Without moving the nipple - There may be a New Technique

Jack Fisher, in Nashville is doing breast lifts using barbed threads.  I think this may be a potential solution in selected patients-  You may want to take a look at his practice-


Best Regards,

Daniel Del vecchio,  MD  Boston

Daniel Del Vecchio, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Most breast lifts involve raising nipple position and tightening breast skin.

Depending on your exact anatomy, there may be additional skin tightening options, but to explore them will require a set of photographs at minimum, and direct examination and measurements optimally.

The least number and degree of scars that can achieve your goals is the best plan, but loose skin requires skin removal and scars, in many cases around the nipple/areola complex in order to raise its position properly atop the tightened skin brassiere. BTW, a scar around your areola does NOT mean that it was detached and reattached as a skin graft; in fact, the opposite is true in the majority of cases! The nipple/areola complex is left attached to the glandular tissues, preserving sensation and ability to breast-feed in a majority of patients. Detachment and grafting is necessary only in rare cases, and will result in anesthetic (numb) and non-functional (ability to breast feed) nipples when this is done.

Tailoring your skin excisions and scars to your exact anatomic needs and goals will give you the results that will be the best cosmetically, and least likely to require revision.

See one of more American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified plastic surgeons who do lots of breast surgery and see what your options are. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Mastopexy without moving the nipple

In a sense, you're asking if there's a way to lift the breast without a scar around the nipple.  Clearly it would be easier to answer this question for you if you posted photos.  In theory, however, you can 'lift' the breast with an implant.  This isn't an effective way to lift the breasts when the implant is under the muscle...however, when the implant is over the muscle and purposely placed slightly lower on the chest, the result will yield a nipple in a higher position on the chest and a lifted appearance to the breast.  This is not such an uncommon senario!  If you look at the photo-gallery on my website you will see several people who had an effective lift with implants alone, and no surgical change in nipple position. Scott Newman, MD FACS

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast Gland sagging without actual sagging of Nipple and Areolacan be treated without moving nipple

If nipple is located at level of breast crease and only breast gland is sagging then it is possible to lift and repostion sagging breasts without moving nipples.

However surgery still will need tightenning of breast skin.  This will require scar on the breast.  

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Mastopexy without moving the nipples

You could theoretically do breast lift without moving the nipples if you just want to tighten skin below the nipple if the nipple is not too low. Pulling skin into the axilla is something I've been thinking about for gynecomastia surgery in men after weight loss. The problem you could run into is restricting shoulder movement.

Another possibility could be the skin excision in the inframammary fold alone to tighten this area. Photographs would be useful to give you a reasonable answer about what could be done.



Wendell Perry, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 229 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.